is a senior shortstop for Notre Dame who will contribute a weekly journal
to CollegeBaseballInsider.com in 2006. A native of Upper Arlington, Ohio, Lopez
has been a mainstay on the Irish infield since he arrived in South Bend,
starting 159 games and playing in 172 his first three years. Lopez, a
two-time captain for Notre Dame, holds a 3.37 GPA as a double major in
pre-professional studies and anthropology.
May 24, 2006
Graduation and Traveling
I apologize for the
delay in my writing these past couple weeks, but it has been one of the busiest
times in my life. In the past three weeks, we studied for final exams, played
Louisville in a weekend series, took our final exams, flew out to Seton Hall for
a series, and flew home for two days (with a game on the road versus Michigan),
then left for Villanova.
Villanova in a three-game series that clinched our Number 1 seed, my fellow
seniors and I flew back to Notre Dame after our game on Saturday only to stay
for 16 hours during which we had brunch with our families and graduated. We were
very proud to continue a great tradition with Notre Dame baseball, as all 71 of
the four-year players who have played for Coach Mainieri have graduated from
We then left the
graduation ceremony early so we could arrive at the South Bend airport in time
to leave for Tampa, which is the site of the Big East Tournament. I am not even
talking and I am out of breath just thinking about that. Nevertheless, I now am
here in the Tampa area (actually Clearwater) as a Notre Dame alumnus ready to
help my team win its fifth consecutive Big East title.
Finals week ended
recently and I finished taking my last undergraduate exams. Every year, it is a
huge relief to take my last exams knowing that I only have to play baseball and
do not have to worry about any schoolwork. However, this year is very different
for me because I am now an alumnus of Notre Dame.
Some of you may
know that we had some losses recently and they came in that period right before
and right after exams. Well, as it turns out, the team obviously was very
focused on its academics this semester and especially during finals time as we
posted the best team semester GPA (3.28) in Coach Mainieri's 12 years here. Of
the 32 players on the team, 25 had a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher and the eight
seniors nearly averaged a 3.5 for the semester and a 3.3 for our entire careers.
When you combine that with all of our on-field success, we know that our coaches
and families are very proud of what we have accomplished and we also are very
proud of each other.
There is a very
high academic standard that comes with being a Notre Dame baseball player and I
am glad to have been a part of such excellence. Right now, I am under
consideration for Academic All-America honors along with two of my fellow
seniors (Tom Thornton and Matt Bransfield) and we would be honored to join the
many great Notre Dame baseball players who have come before us and received the
recognition of Academic All-American.
It is a weird
feeling knowing that I will not be returning for another year of school and will
not longer be playing for Notre Dame after this season ends. I was talking with
my teammate and housemate Matt Bransfield and he was saying how senior year is
similar to freshman year because it is a year of transition. It's funny because
I find myself worrying just like I did my freshman year on what lies ahead.
However, now that
finals are over, there is nothing to worry about but playing baseball. It's the
best time of the year because it's like we're in the Major Leagues. Each day, we
will wake up, eat, play baseball and go to sleep. Of course, we'll mix in some
video games, movies, and if we're lucky a little fishing, but that's about all.
Real tough life we live here, let me tell you.
As I mentioned
before, I live in a house with four other seniors on the team and calling what
we live in a house is generous. Our house has been rented to college students
for years, so the condition in which we received it was not good to say the
least. For five kids playing a full-time sport, we have been able to keep the
house fairly clean, but for only one reason. At some point, one of us will crack
and be unable to live with the mess for the time being. It has happened to all
of us at one point or another, but it happens.
You can see it when
it happens, too. One of us will just stare at the pizza box that has been
sitting there for a week and he will snap. It is almost a game, to see if the
person who has left the pizza box there will end up cleaning it up. Usually, it
does not happen, so someone else will pick it up later.
Well, it's still a
whirlwind schedule here but the postseason has arrived – we are hoping for great
things to come for the team in the next few weeks and I will be sure to check in
This is Greg from
South Bend (but currently in Clearwater) - go Irish!
A Winning Streak and Shark Day (4/30/06)
Greetings from Florida (4/7/06)
Playing in Front of the Family (3/23/06)
Opening Weekend and a Quick Day Trip (3/6/06)
Patiently Waiting (2/24/06)
(photo courtesy of Notre Dame Media Relations Office)